WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Five Wilmington Police officers and a citizen were honored at the Wilmington City Council meeting for saving lives.
Ofc. Pete Schwarz – Lifesaving Award
On the night of January 15, 2012, Kaleb Patrick Rundquist was playing ice hockey at the Wilmington Ice House. Around 8 p.m. Rundquist was struck in the neck by another player’s ice skate. The skate blade lacerated Rundquist’s jugular vein, resulting in a life-threatening injury. Officer Peter D. Schwarz, who was off-duty, was the first to spot the emergency situation.
Ofc. Schwarz took the immediate action of taking Rundquist to the ice surface in a prone position. This action immediately cooled the injured man’s body temperature to reduce blood loss. Officer Schwarz then applied direct pressure with a make-shift bandage and was then able to elevate the patient’s head to further reduce the amount of blood flow. Officer Schwarz acted with smooth deliberate actions, talking in a calm manner, and the leadership he exhibited brought calm to the situation. This calming action by Schwarz also served to calm the patient and slow his heartbeat, further reducing the loss of blood. Officer Schwarz was able to guide the scene from utter chaos to a controlled emergency response. EMS was summoned, pressure was maintained on the wound, and EMS arrived on scene to transport the victim to the hospital.
Upon arrival at the hospital, the patient was taken to a trauma room and underwent 90 minutes of vascular surgery to close the jugular vein. The vascular surgeon informed the patient’s family that he could have quickly died as a result of this injury. The surgeon went on to state that had the proper actions not been taken at the scene, and in the ambulance, this wound would have had fatal consequences. The actions of Officer Schwarz saved Rundquist’s life
Ofc. Don Oakes and Ofc. Carey Hunter – Lifesaving Awards
Stacey Wright – Citizen’s Award
On September 22, 2012, Ofc. Don Oakes and Ofc. Carey Hunter responded to a “man down” call in the 600 block of S. College Road. The officers arrived and discovered a 70-year-old man in a vehicle. He was unresponsive and the officers immediately began CPR. While the officers were performing CPR, Stacey Wright, EMT-Paramedic and training officer for Pender EMS, witnessed what was happening and stopped to assist. The two officers and Wright worked as a team and prior to the EMS unit arriving, the patient had a pulse back, his color was improving, and he was trying to breathe on his own.
They continued to give care to the patient and helped transfer him to the New Hanover Regional EMS crew. As the crew took care of the patient the officers helped control the scene and the traffic, but most importantly they offered support to the patient’s son who had witnessed all of this. These two officers showed compassion and professionalism from the time Wright arrived to when she left.
In Wright’s opinion if our officers had not shown up and worked as hard as they did the outcome would have been much different. The actions of Ofc. Oakes, Ofc. Hunter, and Wright saved a life.
Ofc./Det. Travis Williams – Lifesaving Award
On November 29, 2012, a woman reported her father missing from their residence in the 1000 block Summerlin Falls Court. She advised Wilmington Police that her 82-year-old father had never gone missing before and that he suffers from dementia. She also said her father walks with a cane. The last time she had seen him was the night before, so she could not provide any clothing description.
Wilmington Police Officers along with the SABLE helicopter started looking for the missing man. Det. Travis Williams was searching in the area of Carolina Beach Road and George Anderson Drive. Even in the darkness, Detective Williams spotted the elderly man about thirty yards into the woods. When Detective Williams located the man, he was tangled in some shrubs, one of his legs was stuck in a drain pipe, he was confused, there was blood on his face, and he said that he was very cold. The victim was freed from the pipe and EMS and the daughter were contacted.
The weather that evening listed with a low of 29 degrees. The missing man’s age, medical condition, and the fact that he was not dressed for the nighttime and early morning temperature all contributed to the urgency of the situation. The actions of Det. Williams saved the man’s life.
Ofc. Jason Worrell – Lifesaving Award
On March 7, 2013, at approximately 9 p.m. Officer Worrell arrived on the scene of an unknown medical emergency in the 5000 block of Penny Lane. Ofc. Worrell entered the apartment and found a man unconscious on the floor with several of his roommates trying to wake him. Officer Worrell immediately assessed the patient and found that he was not breathing and had no heartbeat. Ofc. Worrell began administering CPR and continued to do so until paramedics arrived and took control of the scene. Paramedics were able to get the man’s heart started and stabilize his breathing. An EMS Battalion Chief told Ofc. Worrell’s supervisor that Ofc. Worrell’s actions surely contributed to their ability to revive the patient. The actions of Ofc. Worrell saved the man’s life.